Wash hands. Put gloves on. Touch a surface. Remove gloves properly. Dispose into trash can. Wash hands.
As simple as that sounds, according to Delta nursing professor Cheri Wells, it’s not enough.
“They are being misused,” Wells said. “It gives people a false sense of hope.”
In grocery stores, you see people pull up to the parking lot with the gloves already on, they then proceed to touch the cart and touch several things in the store. Once at checkout, they begin to touch the keypad if paying with a card, while still wearing those same gloves for almost an hour now.
Within half an hour, your hands are starting to get sweaty.
After paying, one goes back to their car, puts the groceries away and drives away with the same pair of gloves still on. While others remove them after placing their groceries in their car and leaving the dirty gloves on carts or simply throwing them on the ground.
“Your skin after the gloves are removed are moist and need to be washed so as to not pick up more germs” said Wells.
If one touched this virus sometime in the store, it will for sure now be in their car.
Not to mention, if the virus is on any of the items you’ve taken home, they will still enter your home.
According to the CDC, practicing hand hygiene is the best way to help reduce the spread of germs.
“Hand hygiene means cleaning your hands by using either handwashing (washing hands with soap and water), antiseptic hand wash, antiseptic hand rub (i.e. alcohol-based hand sanitizer including foam or gel), or surgical hand antisepsis,” according to a hand hygiene page on the CDC website.
Many still believe they are protected by wearing gloves when running errands, but the best bet is to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds whenever possible.
“[The use of] Gloves are not a substitute for hand hygiene,” instead one is making themselves more susceptible to carry the virus from one place to the next, according to the CDC.
Misusing the gloves defeats the whole purpose of public health and sanitation, not to mention decreases the supply of gloves in the country.
The gloves are intended to be used by medical personnel to protect them from exposure to blood and other bodily fluids.
You’ll notice when one goes to the doctor, one of the first steps every doctor does is wash their hands, then grab a fresh pair of gloves. They proceed to put them on, examine you, then properly remove them. They then wash their hands again.
So instead of misusing and wasting latex or non-latex gloves, just follow two simple rules: 1) wash your hands, especially before you leave your house and right when you get back before doing anything else; and 2) stay home.
We as a country can not stop the virus but we can help slow the spread of it.